Unexpected Shutdown!

Imagine your website or Internet access being unexpectedly shut down as a result of a court order!  This morning’s Wall Street Journal has such a report.  The victim here is Stephen Paluck who’s address was apparently discovered by Microsoft in a search for botnet-type activities.  Of course Paluck claims he is not involved in illegal computer dealings, and this is likely the truth.  So what is happening?

Here is the scoop and the article reference:

  • Pg A3 of the Wall Street Journal – Microsoft Battles Cyber Criminals
  • What they’re up to: The court order was issued to Microsoft to, without notice, “take down a global network of PCs suspected of spreading spam and harmful computer code.”
  • Possible issues:  Cybercrime is a problem, however these botnet nodes are people’s systems, and are used to conduct business.  So if they are also compromised and operating as Zombies, there needs to be remediation…however, just cutting them off might be rash.
  • Your clients:  This has already happened – meaning it will likely happen again.  If your clients are infected and part of one of these networks, they may be next.  Imagine just being cut off from the network – the impact is big!  This calls for regular assessments and a cleaning up of the network so your client is not part of the bot problem.  Paluck was shut down because his system was compromised (at least that is the most likely case), so if it had been clean, he wouldn’t be writing letters by hand today.

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